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Initiate process for proper Field inquiry - Brash

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

28 August 2006

Initiate process for proper Field inquiry - Brash

National Party Leader Don Brash has challenged both the Prime Minister and the man who conducted the $500,000 inquiry into the Taito Phillip Field affair to state whether they stand behind the report in the light of revelations during the weekend.

Dr Brash says material in the New Zealand Herald on Saturday and further information broadcast on TV1 last night call into question the conclusions reached by Noel Ingram QC and demand further investigation.

"The revelation by the New Zealand Herald that Mr or Mrs Field signed Mr Suriwan's Samoan work permit as his employer is in total conflict with the statements made by Mr Field to the Ingram inquiry. Either the work permit form is wrong, or the Ingram report is.

“Dr Ingram - as an officer of the Court, a Queens Counsel, and as the recipient of nearly half a million dollars of taxpayers money for conducting the inquiry - needs to tell New Zealanders what we should make of his report in light of these revelations.

"Information revealed by the Sunday programme last night adds further doubt to the Ingram inquiry and drew attention to a September 2005 television interview in which Mr Field appears to confirm there had been a plan to move Mr Suriwan to Samoa in order to employ him.

"The TV1 programme makes further damning allegations against Mr Field, including those relating to a birth certificate and the receipt of money. If those allegations are left unchallenged, they have the potential to damage the reputations of all Members of Parliament. I call on Helen Clark to initiate a process for inquiring properly into these serious matters.

"My message to Helen Clark today is simple: this issue will not go away until the facts are laid bare. Today, both Helen Clark and Dr Ingram must make a decision. They must choose between backing the Ingram inquiry and accepting the consequences which will flow from here, or accepting the public have a right to know the whole truth about matters which remain in serious dispute.

"The New Zealand Parliament has long enjoyed a reputation for being free of corruption. It is a reputation that both sides of politics have protected jealously. If Helen Clark, assisted by Dr Ingram, intends to allow that reputation to be tarnished in such an overt and unforgivable manner, then they will have all the force the National Party can muster in holding them to account," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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